Peter, a decorated veteran, was recently adopted by Karen and Morrill Worcester of Wreaths Across America in Columbia Falls. He is a new ambassador for the organization and will become an important part of the Wreaths Across America Mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach.

Peter, 25, recently retired after 16 years of service with the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard). The adoption ceremony was held at Fort Belvoir, Va., March 13.

“Our caisson horses provide the final ride for our nation’s heroes,” said Maj. Russell Fox, the Old Guard public affairs officer. “We may be the only or last image a family member remembers as their loved one is laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. It’s our duty to ensure the ceremony is conducted to the highest standards. The full honor funeral the Caisson Platoon provides ensures that image.”

Peter’s distinguished service career included 6,000 funerals. He received the Army Achievement Award from the secretary of the Army, and performed as the lead flag horse in President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. In addition, Peter finished his career with the Old Guard as the second horse for the White Team.

The Old Guard is the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort for the president of the United States. In that capacity, 3rd Infantry soldiers are responsible for conducting military ceremonies at the White House, the Pentagon, national memorials and elsewhere in the nation’s capital.

In addition to military funeral escorts, soldiers of the Old Guard maintain a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The 3rd U.S. Infantry, known as “The Old Guard,” is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving our nation since 1784. To learn more about the 3rd U.S Infantry, please visit army.mil.

Upcoming events, fundraisers

Vietnam veterans’ recognition

On Thursday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Togus VA Medical Center Main Campus Theater, 810 Eastern Ave., Augusta, please join Gov. LePage, the staff at Togus and the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services for a celebration to honor the service, valor and sacrifice of Maine’s Vietnam veterans. All Vietnam veterans attending will receive a commemorative pin recognizing their service to our country.

Motorcycle show

The third annual Bangor Mall Motorcycle Show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26, during regular mall hours. This annual event raises money to help local area veterans. On display will be new makes and models of motorcycles including custom motorcycles. In addition, Patriot Riders of America – Maine Chapter 3 will have merchandise for sale and they will have raffle drawings. For additional information on the Patriot Riders of America – Maine Chapter 3, please visit proa-me3.org.

Spaghetti dinner

This second annual Maine Fallen Heroes fundraiser supports Maine’s Gold Star families Saturday, March 25, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Auburn American Legion Post 31, 426 Washington St., North Auburn.  Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for children under 12, and tots under 3 eat free.  In addition, there will be raffles, a 50/50, door prizes, bake sale and entertainment. For more information on the Maine Fallen Heroes Foundation, please visit mainefallenheroes.org.

Dancers for Embrace A Vet

On Friday, March 31, 7 to 9 p.m., Top Hat II Dance Studio in Bangor will host this event with over 100 dancers from several Bangor area dance studios. All the proceeds will go to Embrace A Vet, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide supportive services to veterans and their families living with TBI and PTSD in Maine. This event will be held at John Bapst High School, 100 Broadway, Bangor. For additional information, please contact Embrace A Vet at embraceavet.org or 449-9149.

Joy Asuncion is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, an Honor Flight Maine board member and a Maine Troop Greeter.  You can reach Joy at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 930-5640.